Gay or lesbian tourism has been in place as a niche in western countries for quite sometime now. But Indian has not touched it yet. Atleast openly, discretely there may be some operators who may me running such schemes. But soon the travel business may jump the bandwagon. At a recent convention of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) in Bangalore, they discussed its possibility. As of now only one Indian company Indjapink offers such services.
Internationally there is a large market for Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and transgenders together known as LGBT. Some south Asian locations like Thailand etc are very popular with this segment of people. South Africa, Latin American countries like Mexico, west Indies islands, Brazil are hugely popular for LGBT segment.
What might have prompted the Indian travel operators is the Supreme court judgment which allowed adult consent individuals of same sex of living together with dignity, adoption of children. So with this Gay and Lesbian stands almost legal in India. So LGBT tourism as well. Homosexuality will no longer be a criminal offense in India. With the legal angle clearing the path, this might soon become a reality in India. This will definitely bring more foreign exchange to the country but the important question is how the local people will react to it. In cosmopolitan cities this may be a non – issue to a large extent but definitely a taboo in small town and villages where many of India’s famous tourist destinations are located. One way forward is to sensitize local people and educate the people working or associated with tourism industry.
There is also a talk of looking in gay tourism in Karnataka. With so many exotic places in the state it can carve a niche for it, if given a chance.
2. OutTraveler.com – Gay Travel Magazine